The Art of Small Business Conference

Wow…. you are going to LOVE this.  Especially if you’ve been with us since we started way back in 2011.  As you may know, The Biz Club started off as a Business Book Club while I was on maternity leave.  We’ve shared our experiences and favourite business books over some great conversations.

I was so excited to learn about this amazing conference with seven amazing authors speaking!  It’s really a business book club’s dream come true.  We are passionate about business books because it’s an affordable way for entrepreneurs to learn insightful information from people who have ‘been there, done that’.  When you all come together and share your experiences related to what you’ve read, it makes them that much more powerful.

I have heard some great things about the other conferences in “The Art of…” series and I’m sure this one won’t fail to dissapoint with such an amazing lineup:

Conference Speakers:

1)      Michael E. Gerber, Small Business Guru & Author of the Mega-Bestseller, The E-Myth Revisited

2)      Chris Guillebeau, New York Times Bestselling Author of The $100 Startup & The Art of Non-Conformity

3)      JJ Ramberg, Host of MSNBC’s Your Business & Author of It’s Your Business

4)      John Jantsch, Small Business Expert & Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author of Duct Tape Marketing,

5)      Jonathan Fields, Award-Winning Author, Entrepreneur, & Founder of The Good Life Project

6)      Stephen Shapiro, Innovation Consultant, Speaker & Author of Personality Poker & Best Practices Are Stupid

7)      Mitch Joel, President of Twist Image & Bestselling Author of Six Pixels of Separation & Ctrl Alt Delete


Special Offer!

I was also lucky enough to get YOU a special offer!  The only catch is you need to network a bit to get it!  How fitting!  If you’re interested in going, enter a comment below and group yourselves into groups of 3 or more to save $100 per ticket!

Purchase from 1-2 tickets – save $50 per ticket with code TWITTERFAN

Purchase 3 or more tickets – save $100 per ticket with code TWITTERFAN



The Art of Small Business, presented by Visa

Date: Monday October 21, 2013

Venue: Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Website: or the direct link to event info is

Twitter: @TheArtOf

Hashtag: #TheArtOf


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Member Profile: Michael Trapani of Incube8 Creative

Welcome to our new feature!  Member Profiles will help you get to know your fellow members a bit better.  This is one of the features and benefits of membership with The Biz Club!  If you are already a paying member, log into the Members Area to fill out a questionnaire and get profiled!

Michael Trapani owns Incube8 Creative in Newmarket.

incube8-emailIncube8 Creative is a small graphic design business in Newmarket that puts a strong focus on giving businesses that modern and fresh appearance to make them stand higher than their competitors. Incube8 Creative focuses on print and web design, marketing and branding.

Why did you start your business?
I wouldn’t want to work for anyone but myself. I love what I do and starting up a business is like a lifelong project. Keeps you on your toes.

A typical day in my business would be…
Start the day off with responding to emails, then diving into some design depending what the project is, followed by a 20 minute quick yoga session (if time is available) and more design, some quoting, and then some more design.

What activities have been successful in promoting your business?
The main tools would definitely be my website and business cards. Facebook and Twitter are helpful if used properly and networking.

What tips or tools do you use to stay productive?
I use my calendar on my iPhone and the reminders app. I also make checklists every day.<

A bit about YOU! Who or what inspires you, or do you have any favorite business books, or anything interesting and unique about you that will help people better connect?

Well, there are always people in this world who are better than you at whatever it is you do, so I find inspiration through those individuals. I try my best to always keep myself updated with the trends, whether it is about graphic/web design, electronics, or fashion. Snowboarding is what keeps me sane in the winter and longboarding in the summer. I like meeting new people; everyone is so unique in their own way.<

How has networking helped your business?
It’s given me more courage to speak with business owners, as it’s an essential tool in owning your own business, and the more contacts you have the better.

Would you like to make a special offer to our readers? 
Free Social Media Design with a purchase of any service. CLICK HERE for more information

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Upcoming: Donate and Learn Social Media Workshop


godaddy ad 3Would you like to support a great cause and learn about search and social media marketing?


Join us, Tuesday May 28 at 6pm and learn from ABC News, Google Canada and Green Lotus search engine and social media marketing experts. The Donate & Learn Workshop is FREE with a donation to the YWCA Toronto Girls’ Center!


Leading Online Marketing Experts will speak about social media marketing, search engine marketing, SEO and finding a balance in your online marketing strategy. Speakers will provide industry best practices to better manage your online marketing strategy, improve brand awareness and your bottom line.


Register and make your donation on the Donate & Learn Website: 

Limited spots are available – Register now and reserve yours!


100% of donations will go to the YWCA Girl’s Center – a judgment free and supportive environment for young women to start building their futures. The YWCA Girls’ Center members are media savvy, fearless future leaders. Join us in supporting members of the Girls’ Center become exactly who they’d like to be!


Whether just starting to plan an online marketing strategy or deep into implementation; the Donate & Learn Workshop will provide the knowledge, strategies and networking opportunities needed to improve online marketing results, and take your businesses to the next level!


For further information visit YWCA Donate & Learn – Search and Social Media Workshop.


Workshop Sponsors:, Toronto Star’s, Epic Cruises and Big3 Video Marketing Agency.


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PRESS RELEASE! The Biz Club Partners with RAI Grant Insurance


April 17, 2013

The Biz Club is pleased to announce that it has partnered with Rai Grant Insurance Brokers and RSA to offer business insurance to its members at competitive rates.  Rai Grant is one of the largest independent insurance brokerages in Ontario and has been a trusted partner for entrepreneurs since 1985. Now we’ve partnered with RSA, one of Canada’s leading insurers, to provide insurance protection for Biz Club small to medium entrepreneurs. Rai Grant and RSA understand that meeting the needs of entrepreneurs goes beyond just providing insurance protection. Whether just starting out, or well established in your business, you are on a journey and we consider ourselves your partners on that journey. We work hard to give you the confidence that comes with knowing you’ve chosen the right insurers, dedicated to helping you grow your business. Trust us with your business insurance, and benefit from our:

  • Financial strength and strong heritage as insurance leaders;
  • First rate insurance products designed to cover your business needs;
  • In-depth understanding of how to protect your business;
  • All payment methods accepted (excluding debit) as well as all major credit cards.  When you pay your premiums with an AIR MILES® credit card, you can earn more reward miles; and
  • Hassle-Free Claims® Service to keep your business moving. We’re so confident in our claims service that we guarantee it.  If we fail to return a call on your new claim within 6 business hours, we pay you $500 without question. That’s our promise to you.


PLUS! You can earn 1 AIR MILES reward mile for every $20 in premium (including taxes)* up to 180 reward miles for each policy you have with RSA – home, auto, or business.




Rai Grant and RSA are able to tailor customized insurance packages for businesses in the following industries:

  • Automotive Trades including Repair Garages & Body Shops;
  • Contractors;
  • Retail operations;
  • Offices- Business & Professional Services;
  • Hospitality;
  • Wholesalers;
  • Manufacturers; and
  • Many More.

Policy premiums start as low as $37.00 per month.


Call now to get a free quotation and talk to us about your business insurance.  

Call: Paul Rai at (905) 475-5800 or toll-free at 1 – 800 561-6195.




®™ Trademarks of AIR MILES International Trading B.V. used under license by Loyalty Management Group Canada Inc. and Roins Financial Services Limited. * Please see Terms & Conditions at Collectors can earn 1 AIR MILES reward mile for every $20 in premium (including taxes) to a maximum of 15 AIR MILES reward miles per month (i.e., 180 AIR MILES reward miles per year). All AIR MILES® offers are subject to the Terms and Conditions of RSA, and may be changed or withdrawn without notice. © 2013 RSA all rights reserved. “RSA”, “Hassle Free Claims” and the RSA logo are trademarks used under license from RSA Insurance Group plc. The information in this notice is intended for informational purposes only. It contains some information about coverages and services offered by RSA but do not list all of the conditions and exclusions that apply to described coverages and services. The actual wording of the policy and local law govern all situations.


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Tip of the Month: Adding Text to Your YouTube Videos

I was just watching a great video of Gemil being interviewed about the importance of home inspections. While the information was great, it would have been better if the contact information was displayed at some point throughout the video.

Did you know that YouTube actually has that functionality built right in?  So you don’t have to use other video editing software. You can use the Annotation feature in YouTube to add captions or text bubbles to your video.

To do this, login to your account and go to Video Manager>Uploads and then from the Edit dropdown menu next to the video you want to update, click on Annotations.

Annotations in YouTube

Annotations in YouTube


Then you will be able to add text and website addresses, labels and more.


I won’t go into a full tutorial, as I’m sure there is already something on YouTube!


Did you find this useful?  Do you have a tip of your own to share?  Leave a comment below!


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Five Kinds of In-Person Business Networking

There are so many different ways to participate in business networking.  Some methods of networking are more effective for certain types of people and businesses than others.  Below is a list of a few different types of business networking available in person. Our events tend to be a combination of one or more of these examples. Our networking meetings are usually quite casual, informal and everyone is welcome to attend.  Which types of events do you prefer based on your personality and business’ needs? Leave your comments below!

1.  Speed Networking

Speed Networking is what you would imagine it sounds like.  It’s speed dating for business.  Typically, you get about 1 minute to give your elevator pitch and then another minute to listen to the person in front of you.  Then the bell rings and you move to the seat next to you.  There are a few of these types of networking held throughout York Region and there are some people that love them and some that hate them.  I’m somewhere in the middle.

I think Speed Networking can be useful if it’s for a very targeted purpose or industry.  There is a group I’ve heard of (and unfortunately I don’t recall their name), that holds speed networking events to help people within the technology industry find business partners or potential suppliers.  The idea is that you are bringing together people with a specific need together.  For example, I may have a great idea for a new product, but need to find a mechanical engineer that would be interested in partnering with me.  In this case, 1 minute is all that you need.

Speed Networking can be useful for looking for specific types of partners or organizations you may want to work with, but is usually less beneficial for finding potential clients directly.

2. Chamber of Commerce Events

Every Chamber of Commerce has their own events as well.  They vary from social events to learning events.  Chamber events tend to have high attendance numbers since they already have such a large membership base.  Some drawbacks with such large events is that it can be intimidating for members that are shy to participate in an open networking format.  The benefit is that if you go often enough, you will start to see familiar faces and that may help you feel more comfortable.  Events are usually free for members, or they get a discounted rate.  Membership can sometimes be a bit outside the budget for a small business owner that is trying to market themselves and grow to the next level, but is usually beneficial to the more established and stable businesses.

3. Organized Networking Groups

Organized networking groups like BNI, Le Tip and BCX are also very popular. These groups tend to have very structured and formal processes in place for networking and referrals.  The all operate slightly differently, but some examples of the features of these types of groups (and I’m generalizing) are:

  • you may be expected to produce a certain number of refferals each month
  • they may only allow one person per ‘category’ – exclusivity
  • meeting are predictable (Usually on the same day and time each week or month)
  • In some cases the same people always attend. (Benefit if you want to build relationships, drawback if you prefer to meet more people)
  • There maybe high costs to join (although some have proven systems that show if you commit to their system you will see greater benefits).

4. Forums and Learning Events

Networking can happen anywhere.  Most business organizations hold some sort of learning event (we will be holding several starting this fall) where business owners and professionals can not only learn something to help them run or grow their business, but they can also meet other business owners that share a similar interest.  This is a great way to network as you usually have more time to chat and get to know other small business owners that are attending..

5. Tradeshows

Tradeshows are another opportunity to network your business.  The decision you need to make is whether you want to be behind a booth or in front of it.  Depending on your business and budgetary constraints, you may not be able to afford buying a booth, so that decision may be simple.  However, if you’re not sure which would be best for you, here are a few things to consider.


  • Useful if you have something people really want, and want to learn more about.
  • Easier to have discussions with interested people about your products or services
  • A visible presence may help to reinforce your brand recognition
  • You may be listed on the event’s website or program and/or have other advertising opportunities available to you.


  • You can choose who you want to speak to at the event and avoid the booths that don’t interest you.
  • It’s a bit more difficult to gain brand recognition on a one-on-one basis.
  • You have more opportunities to connect with the rest of the attendees.
  • You can leave early if you find the event isn’t suited to your needs (It’s a bit more difficult to pack up a booth three hours early.)

Happy Networking!

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